Stop the downward cycle of addiction and start living with more clarity and control.You can let go of destructive habits and behaviors that are costing you time, money, relationships and eating away at your authentic self.
Starting and running a business can be extremely stressful. You might find yourself turning towards food, social media, or alcohol for comfort. Alcohol may initially help you feel like you’re unstoppable, but soon realize you’re no longer running the show. You’re floundering in an ocean of self-doubt and confusion as the addiction takes over.
As a high achieving professional or business owner you can be more susceptible to addiction
Business owners can be more susceptible to addiction. Here are some things that can make you vulnerable:
- Starting a business can be isolating and you may experience feelings of loneliness.
- Fear of failure is always hanging over your head.
- Working obscene hours can be a set up to give yourself permission for an unhealthy reward.
- You may end up with no one to confide in after alienating your friends due to working all the time.
- You let your self-care slide. You’ve stopped taking care of your emotional and physical needs.
Addiction can be a downward spiral, but there is help
It’s common, as an entrepreneur to be plagued by the constant fear of failure. As a result, you may reach for a quick fix to feel better. But sooner or later the high wears off and you’re left with the same problems and fears only worsened.
The pursuit of pleasure or relief becomes an end in itself and the consequences are pushed away, but eventually they catch up with you.
Using substances may help you feel in control, powerful – like you’re invincible. As you numb the pain of your reality – memories, exhaustion, anxiety, loneliness, depression, ambitions, or fear of failing – you’re also numbing all aspects of your emotional life including the positive. The positive aspects and feelings you need to motivate your business and life success.
Addiction is real – it’s a deadly disease that can take over your mind, body and spirit. It can lead you down a path of destruction so fast you won’t know what hit you.
As your use goes on it demands more of your attention and time. As the addiction proceeds you benefit less from it and it costs you more – money, relationships, health, and your business.
There is a way out of this downward spiral and it’s not as difficult as you may think.
Common ways addiction can show up for entrepreneurs
Symptoms of addiction can take many forms but will usually show up in poor performance and an inability to concentrate on the task at hand.
Some unexpected ways addiction shows up for business owners:
- Health issues
- Cash flow problems
- Conflicts with clients
- Difficult relationships with vendors
- Reduced productivity
- A lack of self confidence
- Poor business decisions
- Missing out on new business opportunities
One of the biggest issues that business owners impacted by addiction face is running your business less profitably. You’re barely meeting deadlines, you’re robbing Peter to pay Paul, your days are spent being pulled in a million different directions not getting anything accomplished.
And who wants to put themselves out there when you’re nursing a hangover and secretly feeling like a failure? You hold yourself back from new opportunities at work or fear that you won’t be able to show up in a consistent way even if you landed that coveted promotion.
Because of the lack of self-confidence that often comes along with addiction you may believe that you’re not capable of taking your business or career to the next level.
Your strategy is to beat yourself up hoping this will keep you in line. But it only makes you feel more depressed and ashamed. This leads to isolation, avoiding others and missing out on new business and networking opportunities. When you are forced to interact with people you may find yourself losing patience, snapping and thus alienating your very own clients and vendors.
Not taking action to get help and deal with an underlying addiction is a direct threat to your well-being as a business owner.
We all do this to some degree
Addiction has been present among humans since we learned how to use things outside of ourselves to change our internal states.
Feeling bored? Eat a brownie. Feeling tired and distracted? Smoke a cigarette. Feeling depressed? Surf the internet for cat videos.
When you reach for that slice of pizza to give yourself the surge of energy we need to get the last order of the day out or tell ourselves we’re just going to scan the internet for five minutes and we’ve fallen down the rabbit hole we are starting to form habits. Or we reward ourselves at the end the day with a glass or wine or two or three, we’re creating the cycle of addiction.
We all do this – even if we’re not high achieving business owners. Even if we’re not smokers or drug addicts. We all look for ways to make the pain go away, to numb, to escape.
Sometimes we need to zone out in front of the TV and eat the ice cream cone! But there is a fine line between a moment of pleasure that helps life feel bearable and a pattern of checking out of our life.
What is an addiction anyway?
We all have this drive to change our current state especially if our current state involves something we don’t want to feel or to look at. We all have our own strategies or habits that work for us.
But sometimes these strategies stop working or we start to experience negative consequences – we keep pulling the handle of the slot machine even though we’re deeply in debt, we’ve lost relationships because we prefer the company of a bottle, we’ve gained 20lbs from eating our feelings.
It’s not a moral failure
Addiction is when we engage compulsively in behaviors that reward the pleasure center of the brain, despite the negative consequences. Addiction is when the brain’s pleasure center gets hijacked.
Signs that might indicate an addiction:
- Obsessive thoughts – When you’re not doing the behavior or using the substance, you’re thinking about it, you’re planning the next use, thinking about how it will feel when you use or engage in the behavior.
- Withdrawal/engagement cycle – you have the rush of the excitement from using and then the crash of withdrawal symptoms such as depression or irritability.
- Self-worth problems – you feel quilt, shame and beat yourself about your use. You tell yourself you can quit anytime you want, as long as it’s next Wednesday.
- Tolerance – people who abuse alcohol and some drugs build up a tolerance and need more and more of the substance to get the same effect.
- Neglect – you may be neglecting other areas of your life such as friendships or other responsibilities due to the amount of time, energy, money you’re putting into maintaining this behavior.
- Negative outcomes – continuing to use despite the social, financial and health consequences may signal an addiction
Addiction causes you to live a double life. There is a part of your life that you keep hidden, that you lie about, that you do in private and hide the evidence. You tell yourself “Never again, I can get control of this”.
If this sounds like you, you are not alone.
Addiction is more common than you think
Sometimes when you suspect you have an addiction you may feel alone. It may interest you to know:
- According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 19.7 million American adults (aged 12 and older) battled a substance use disorder in 2017.
- Almost 74% of adults suffering from a substance use disorder in 2017 struggled with an alcohol use disorder.
- Drug abuse and addiction cost American society more than $740 billion annually in lost workplace productivity, healthcare expenses, and crime-related costs.
- In 2017, about 9.4% of men and 5.2% of women age 12 and older had a substance use disorder.
Even if you’ve been derailed by an addiction, it’s not too late to get yourself back on track
You don’t need to be a statistic. You can learn to step out of the habitual pattern of addiction and get back in the driver’s seat of your life. Feeling renewed strength and determination to meet the day’s challenges without the use of a crutch.
Imagine yourself being free from addiction, enjoying engaging in actives that you once loved doing. Your mind is free of the fearful, anxious, guilt-ridden thoughts. Your emotions are mostly positive and balanced. Your free to create a life you love.
Addiction causes you to live a life of secrets, trapped in your mind by obsessive thinking.
There is a way out and it’s not as hard as you may think.
First steps to getting addiction help
Recognizing early warning signs or risk factors can prevent a behavior from turning into an addiction. If you’ve read this far you may have recognized some of the early warning signs in yourself.
You can take the first steps to get control of your addiction.
There are proven techniques to help manage addiction. You may have already tried talking to friends, reading self-help books, working more, or just trying to “white knuckle” through.
Unlike your friends or family, I understand the dynamics behind addiction. I know how addiction works and have proven techniques to help you get control. I have worked with addiction my whole career and know the latest brain science, along with well-researched techniques to help you on your path to recovery.
As we work together you will start to have more clarity, feel more confident and capable to stay the course.
You’ll be able to manage the stress of running a household and a business without going on a spending spree and make real business connections without another glass of wine. You’ll be able to concentrate and crush your to-do list and manage your energy levels without another cigarette.
I want to be your guide in navigating addiction. Don’t try to do this alone – you don’t have to. Many people suffer from addiction and I am eager to help you get unstuck, take back control and get on with your life.
I have specialized training in working with addiction. I combine mindfulness with other therapeutic techniques to help you get the results you want.
I will support you in your recovery to being addiction free
Initially, I will want to know what you would like to be different as a result of our work together. I will also want to know how your addiction is impacting your life. What you get out of doing it and what it might be costing you. We will also discuss how much and how often you are engaging in the behavior and how you would like this to be different. I will also want to know what you have tried that has not helped and what has gotten in your way of reaching your goals.
You and I will put together a personalized recovery plan unique to you and your needs. Part of this recovery plan will include becoming more aware of thoughts and behaviors that contribute to addiction, helping you learn new ways of coping and identifying your triggers for using.
I will teach you some new tools, such as mindfulness exercises, to rewire your brain and help you feel calmer and in control so that you can make better choices.
In addition, I utilize the following types of treatment to help you feel relief quickly and start to gain control of your addiction:
- MBRP – Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention
- Motivational Interviewing
- CBT – Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
- ACT – Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
- DBT – Dialectical Behavior Therapy
- EMDR- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy
Frequently Asked Questions About Getting Addiction Help with Dawn King
Now that you know what an addiction is, it’s important to get help. Most people have questions about getting addiction treatment.
What should I expect at the first session?
If you are coming in with concerns about an addiction, I will do an in-depth assessment. During this assessment I will ask some specific questions regarding the behavior that is concerning you. I will also want to hear how this behavior is affecting your life. I will get some history of the problem and what you’ve tried in the past. From there we can discuss what you would like to see be different as a result of our work together and then make a plan.
Our sessions will be interactive – in addition to asking questions, I will give you feedback, and may gently challenge you at times. With your input, I will make suggestions for ways to integrate our work outside of sessions through a new skill. This new skill might be for example a journal exercise, a handout or a breathing exercise.
How long will therapy it take?
Most people find significant relief in 7-9 months, for some it could be 4-6 months. It varies from person to person and depends upon what you’re coming in for and what you want to accomplish. In some cases, it may have taken years to establish the problem behavior, so realistically, it may take time to reverse deeply embedded behaviors. In this case, you may want to plan for at least six months of concerted action to get to a point where you are maintaining the changes that you have made in therapy.
To get the best outcome, it takes a commitment to show up consistently and to budget the time, energy and money for counseling.
How often do I see you?
I start out seeing clients weekly anywhere from 16-20 sessions. As our work progresses, we will discover if we can move to a less frequent schedule, say every other week. Again, everyone’s situation is different, and you will have an individualized plan.
What do you charge?
I charge $130 for a 50-minute session. I encourage you to think of this as a long-term investment in your prosperity. Most entrepreneurs and business professionals discover that healing from an addiction causes them to earn more and spend more wisely. Addiction is flat out expensive. It’s likely you are spending as much or more per week to pay for your addiction.
Will my insurance cover our sessions? How does that work?
I am currently an out-of-network provider for most insurance companies. I can provide a receipt (superbill) that you can submit to your insurance company for possible reimbursement.
What if I believe that I can do it on my own and I don’t need help?
This is a common belief among people who struggle with addiction. It’s a belief that keeps you isolated and stuck in your addiction. That’s why talking with someone is so helpful – first you start to recognize you’re not alone and second – there actually is a way out!
What if I don’t have enough will power?
Addiction is a chronic brain disease, not a matter of willpower. So, contrary to old stereotypes those who become addicted to alcohol or drugs aren’t weak immoral or irredeemably flawed. That said, willpower does play a small part in working with habit change and this skill of self-control can be learned in therapy.
Will you tell me to stop using substances?
No. However, I will give you an honest recommendation based on my assessment. This will include the frequency and types of treatment that will help you be successful. You get to decide what your treatment goals are. I’m here to support and help you meet those goals.
Isn’t it true that addiction only impacts people who grew up poor or had bad childhoods?
That is one of the many myths of addiction. Addiction can impact people who have had privileged backgrounds, earned college degrees, started successful businesses and lived their entrepreneurial dreams. Addiction doesn’t discriminate against race, social class, socioeconomic status or gender.
Will you think I’m “crazy” or judge me?
There is no judgment. I strive to create a sense of safety for my clients and my office is a “judgment free” zone. I want you to feel comfortable with sharing whatever is on your mind.
What if I don’t want to talk about something?
That is totally fine. I would not pressure you into talking about something that you are not ready to talk about. I will follow your lead in what you want to discuss in our sessions.
How will I know if therapy is working?
You may notice an improvement in your mood, positive communication skills, sleeping better, making better decisions, enjoying your work more, improvement in your relationships, flying off the handle less, worrying less, or you’ve stopped engaging in an addictive behavior and are participating in activities that you enjoy. Not everyone will have all of these, but if therapy is working for you, you will have some of these and or be meeting other goals that you’ve identified.
Where are you located?
I’m at 8800 Ralston Road, Suite 204, Arvada, CO 80002 close to Olde Town Arvada close to Olde Town Arvada. My office is at the corner of Ralston and Estes. There is plenty of free parking.
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When are you available for appointments?
I see clients Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday by appointment only.
How do I get started?
Simply visit my Getting Started page or call me at 303.229.2804. We will set up an initial, free 15-minute consultation. Following our consultation, we can schedule a time to meet in person at my office for our first appointment. Feel free to download the paperwork for our first appointment and to learn more about my practice. You can find it here: Getting Started.